As the world sinks into a financial meltdown which spilled over from the US sub-prime woes, Singapore is not unaffected.
Being a nation that is largely dependent on export to US consumers for our economic growth, this is bad news. And already our government is bracing Singaporeans for a looming recession ahead.
With such a huge recession storm heading our way, companies are all ready to roll out possible retrenchment exercises in order to remain afloat. This panic and anxiety state will eventually or has cascaded down to the average joe (like you and me) on the street.
Though we might not be able to avoid this storm, we can still hold on to hope that we can pull through this. And especially for Christians, this situation calls for us to trust in our God and to serve as a lighthouse for those around us.
Learning from Paul in the storm
In the book of Acts (c.f. Chapter 27), Paul was to sail for Rome and was on board an Alexandrian ship. When Paul foretold the crew that danger lurked ahead of them, they chose not to heed his advice over the pilot and the owner of the ship. True enough, a huge storm met them.
For many days, this storm went on and many of them had gone without food. It was then that Paul stood up and addressed them:
“Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed.
Last night an angel of the God whose I am and whom I serve stood beside me and said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul. You must stand trial before Caesar; and God has graciously given you the lives of all who sail with you.’
So keep up your courage, men, for I have faith in God that it will happen just as he told me. Nevertheless, we must run aground on some island.”
Eventually, we know as we read on that everyone reached land safely. True to God’s word as spoken through Paul.
Let’s be a Paul in our own storm
I think it is incredible that Paul had such confidence of survival in the midst of the storm that was threatening everyone on board the ship including his.
What made Paul different from the rest?
Even with us facing a financial storm, are we responding differently from the rest? Or are we responding just like the person beside us?
Who are listening for advice? Who and what are we placing our trust and security in?
It is obvious that Paul’s placed his security in the Hands of God’s will. And more importantly, he had a relationship with God and was close to God. He was close enough to God to listen what was His plans for the future. That was his confidence- knowing God and following Him.
I believe that there are principles and lessons that can be gleaned from what had happened with Paul in that storm and use them in our present situation. Paul’s God is the same God that we worship today.
Like Paul, let’s continue to look to God and trust Him. And when we do that, we also save those around us as that is God’s intention- to use us as His lighthouse.